Channels

Channels

Lots of fun, tasty food, and good value buffet dining at The Media Rotana - perfect in these credit-crunching times 16 Reviews

Meal Deal
Evening brunch

Regular evening theme nights across the week offer Mexican on Tuesday, Mediterranean on Wednesday, Asian on Thursday and Friday, Pacific Islands on Saturday, English on Sunday and sushi on Monday. Sat-Wed Dhs245 (house beverages). Thu-Fri Dhs250 (house beverages) Timings: 7pm-10.30pm (Friday, Saturday)

channels_1
© ITP Images
 
  • Picture 1 of 2

There are few big cities that can boast the vibrant buffet scene that Dubai can. As a native New Yorker, I can assure you that in the Big Apple, there is no such thing as a buffet restaurant. My British colleagues tell me that the concept is equally anathema in London. But Dubai is very much a hotel culture, and what’s hotel dining without a buffet?

Every time I think there’s no room or reason for another buffet restaurant in town, I’m presented with the announcement that another has just opened. Channels is the newest member of the pack, and compared to some of its expansive brethren, its selection of food is quite limited. While the likes of Spice Market may have entire wings devoted to shell fish or cold cuts, Channels has two modest rows of food, including a carving station, salads and desserts. There are no chocolate fountains, waffle makers, ice cream-filled coolers, or any other excess that buffet aficionados supposedly go in for. However, it is the modesty of Channels’ spread that gives it some character. Other buffets always feel excessive, Channels merely feels selective.

While the food can’t compare to some of the better à la carte deals in town (the neighbouring Prego’s is infinitely better), the fare’s pretty good for the price. The carving station offers up tender pink rounds of roast beef armoured in a crackly onion exterior. Salmon, slightly dry and fishy, is your standard catered grub. The accoutrements, however, are somewhat lacking (there’s Yorkshire pudding, sautéed mixed vegetables and Lyonnaise potatoes. Outside of that, you’re left decorating your roast with vegetable curry).

It’s worth skipping the salads to make room for dessert. Mini mango tarts are sweet, delicate, and easy to consume in disconcerting quantities. The different flavoured panna cottas were impressive here; the pastry chef had clearly taken care with his ingredients, as the mousses were rich and intricate.

While I still don’t understand the point of Channels (why dine at an all-day buffet when you can have really choice Italian food next door?), I will say that they present a relaxed (if Spartan) backdrop to a better-than-mediocre meal.

The bill (for two)
1x Large bottle of water Dhs22
2x Dinner buffets Dhs230
Total Dhs252

By Daisy Carrington
Time Out Dubai,

Time Out reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or independence of user reviews.

Details

  • Location: Media Rotana, TECOM, Dubai
  • Tel: 04 435 0000
  • Travel: Al Barsha Road
  • Website | Send mail

Is this your establishment? Want to update any details? Please send your updates here.

Map

User reviews

ValueAmbienceService
DecorFoodOverall
  • Users voted this restaurant most suitable for: Family friendly

User reviews:

Posted by: Iain on 26 May ' 13 at 12:25
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Business lunch
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Extremely slow service!!! Was without a drink on two occasions for over 30 minutes. Food is extremely poor also. All in all a bad expirence. Spoke to numerous people since who have agreed with me.

Posted by: Max on 31 Dec ' 12 at 06:23

Very hard to call them, 5 times calling and the restaurant staff take the line and immediately hang the line.
I expected Rotana service to become better not worse...

Posted by: Nez on 13 Dec ' 12 at 08:33
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Business lunch
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Posted by: andrew neilson on 20 May ' 12 at 14:17
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Brunch served
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Edited by TimeOutDubai.com

I went to the friday brunch a few weeks back. Friendly staff however the grape was poor. The food is limited also, however their are adequate sweets for all the well rounded people!!!!

Posted by: conor henry on 20 May ' 12 at 14:01
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Edited by TimeOutDubai.com

Went to the friday brunch with my wife. I like eating alot so i was pleastnely suprised to see an array of cuisines on offer. My son Jacob was alo please with teh sushi. The grape was average to say the least, however i drank a lot of the russian drinks, which went down a treat. My friend Williams loved the pudding, although we were bored by his moaning all night. All in all - average

Posted by: Zeina on 23 Mar ' 12 at 06:51
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

We went to Channels last week and we were quite impressed. They offer one of the best buffets in town. Their Mediterranean buffet had a variety of food and the selection was really generous. Their food tasted really well and their selection was huge. Moreover it is a great value for money since for 149 AED/person you also get open juices and soft drinks.

I highly recommend this place.

Posted by: Irene on 14 Dec ' 11 at 11:41
OverallServiceFood
AmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Fantastic buffet with a much wider choice now than when reviewed and it has a chocolate fountain now. i have been 3 times in last few months and would recommend it

Posted by: Vic on 09 Aug ' 11 at 06:00
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

We had a great Iftar there. Perfect Food and not to much people around.

Posted by: Saba on 29 Dec ' 10 at 21:40
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Fantastic buffet, we were there tonite for the Mediterranean night, and it was simply put...great! Like the review says, there weren't too many main courses that you are left overwhelmed, and the desserts were quite extensive, including fondue, and little jelly sweets that little ones can delight in.
Service was spot on, and good value as well.

The only downside for us, was that the Manager didn't agree to us using a coupon that's for 2011, we were technically two nights early! With Rotana, we always get superb customer service, and so I guess we are just not used to hearing a NO, but otherwise definitely a nice meal!

Posted by: Rebecca on 24 Nov ' 10 at 12:07
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

I went for the mexican night and the food was fresh, tasty and authentic. There was a hiuge range of dishes and all were really nice.
For 179 including drinks it was a great deal (although the white wine was not great)
would definitely go back

Posted by: jack on 01 May ' 10 at 11:16
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Posted by: Claudia on 16 Mar ' 10 at 11:02
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

This restaurant used to be good, but since they added more tables, it has become crowded, incredibly noisy and the food is average. With so many great places in Dubai I would not go back.

Posted by: Pamela on 26 Jul ' 09 at 13:37
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Posted by: M.alatiyat on 06 May ' 09 at 10:22
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Business lunch
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Posted by: Rachel on 11 Feb ' 09 at 04:36
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Brunch served
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

We went to the Mexican Night in Channels on Tuesday. It was amazing! So much choice of hot and cold foods: the salads were fantastic, chilli was just spicy enough, fajitas were great, taquitos tasty. The service was spot on- and all for just 159 Dhs.
The desserts though, I have to say, are the best desserts I have had in Dubai. They even had jelly sweets you could help yourself to! Freshly made crepes (not crabs as the chef said to me at first!), served with all kinds of toppings, chocolate fountains, fruit.
Only downside was that they would not let us take home a doggy bag.
And the chef wasn't bad looking either!

Posted by: Loola on 21 Jan ' 09 at 05:27
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

I think the Interior is lovely! The designer has done a great job! Excellent service too.

Add your review/feedback

Your Rating (Min. 1 star, zero stars will be treated as unrated)
Yes No

Subscribe to Restaurants newsletter

Prove you're not a robot:

Submit

Search

Explore by

Our favourite features